Lions’ Dan Skipper Fires Back at NFL Eligible Receiver Video: ‘It’s Clear’

Dan Skipper

Getty Detroit Lions offensive tackle Dan Skipper fired back at the NFL after it released a video memo about how to report as an eligible receiver.

The NFL has taken a rather simple procedure for how offensive linemen are supposed to report as eligible receivers and complicated the process because of the controversy at the end of the Detroit LionsDallas Cowboys Week 17 matchup. Any attempts to clarify that process, including the video memo the league sent to teams on January 2, has only made the situation more convoluted, according to Lions offensive tackle Dan Skipper.

While speaking to reporters on January 3, Skipper sounded off on the league’s video.

“It’s not like 5 yard, take a left turn thing,” Skipper told reporters when talking about the reporting process, via The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. “I’ve gotten that penalty before, y’all can find that one. That was a similar situation where you’re reporting and don’t (tell the referee), ‘I am reporting as eligible.’

“That’s how it is, that’s how it goes. Y’all can watch it all season. It’s clear as s***. You walk up.”

Unfortunately for the Lions, it wasn’t very clear to referee Brad Holmes on Detroit’s go-ahead 2-point attempt in the final minute of regulation on December 30. Holmes and the officials called Taylor Decker, who caught the 2-point conversion, for an ineligible receiver penalty.

The Lions wanted Decker to be eligible on the play, not Skipper, who Holmes announced as eligible prior to the play.

Lions’ Dan Skipper Contradicts NFL Memo Video

Without the context of Skipper’s commentary, one could see the NFL’s argument about Skipper appearing to report as an eligible receiver.

The NFL video highlighted Skipper before two different plays from Week 17, including the controversial 2-point try. The video showed Skipper running onto the field with his left arm held above his head and right arm in front of his stomach in both instances.

On the controversial 2-point play, Skipper runs toward Allen, where he meets Decker and fellow offensive tackle Penei Sewell.

Skipper explained, though, that what he was actually doing before the 2-pointer was signaling for a personnel change.

“I wasn’t like this (wiping my numbers), I was not doing that,” Skipper told reporters on January 3, via Birkett. “I was doing this (holding one arm up and another by my stomach, with two fingers out), signaling 12 jumbo. Everyone who’s played at this level, I’m sure all you guys know that you signal in personnel.”

Skipper added that his signaling prior to the 2-point play wasn’t directed at Allen. Therefore, it shouldn’t have been considered as reporting as an eligible receiver.

“Typically you have to go up to the official and very (directly tell him you are reporting),” Skipper said. “You can watch it all year. You can watch the first quarter, Play 4, and granted I only did it once during the game this week, so the multiple times throughout the game, also not true, but we’ll leave that there.

“But when you walk up you say, ‘Sir, I am reporting as eligible.’”

Skipper concluded discussing the controversy by saying if he had really done something wrong as the NFL video suggested, the Lions would have cut him.

The veteran offensive lineman also thanked Lions fans for the support he has received since the play. That support includes a billboard in Detroit that reads, “Decker reported.”

Lions’ Dan Campbell Declines to Address NFL Video

Skipper addressed the Lions-Cowboys controversy from just about every angle on January 3. But Lions head coach Dan Campbell was silent on the matter.

“No, I heard they put it out,” Campbell said when asked to comment on the NFL’s memo video. “But I haven’t seen it.”

Campbell addressed how his team is responding to the controversy during his press conference on January 1. But Campbell appeared to grow annoyed when asked about the specifics of the penalty.

“Why do you guys want to talk about this?” Campbell asked when faced with a question on how the eligible receiver reporting process went on the 2-point play. “I’m not getting into it.”

Maybe one day there will be a documentary made about the controversy. But for now, it’s safe to say Campbell is done addressing the 2-point play.

Read More